There are a small handful of proven box office draws on Broadway: Hugh Jackman, Al Pacino, green-faced witches. Now we can add a new name: Tom Hanks. The two-time Oscar winner’s Broadway debut, Lucky Guy, raked in an astonishing $1.1 million for its first full week of previews ending March 10, according to figures from the Broadway League. It’s rare for a nonmusical to top $1 million in weekly grosses, but the late Nora Ephron’s play (starring Hanks as another departed New York legend, tabloid columnist Mike McAlary) managed to earn 112 percent of the potential gross for the Broadhurst Theatre. Thanks to demand-driven premium pricing, the average ticket climbed to $134.41 — second only to Broadway’s priciest get, The Book of Mormon (average price: $188.57). Lucky Guy, which may become an even hotter ticket after its official opening April 1, is currently selling tickets for performances through June 16. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Book of Mormon (1-10 of 28)
Broadway box office: Scarlett Johansson sells tickets -- but Jessica Chastain has star power, too, post-Globes
January is typically a slow period on Broadway, given the seasonal dip in post-holiday tourism, but shows headlined by Hollywood starlets are bucking the trend this year. In its first full week since its Jan. 17 opening, the Scarlett Johansson-led revival Cat on a Hot Tin Roof clawed in $886,531 for the week ending Jan. 27, according to the Broadway League. That’s a modest 5 percent dip from the show’s premiere week and represents a strong 67 percent of the potential gross for the Richard Rodgers Theatre. Since reviews for Rob Ashford’s production were generally mixed, the popularity of the 28-year-old Avengers star (and improbable doppelganger for a young Christopher Walken) will be a big factor in the revival’s fortunes during its limited run through March 30.
Meanwhile, the recent Golden Globe win for Zero Dark Thirty star Jessica Chastain has proven to be a sudden box office bonanza for the actress’ Broadway debut, The Heiress. The drama revival, which opened last November and will end its limited run Feb. 9, grossed $604,765 last week, a nearly 36 percent jump from its total two weeks ago and two-thirds of the potential haul for the venue. (Of course, it probably doesn’t hurt that her costar Dan Stevens is back in the public eye with the return of Downton Abbey on PBS.) READ FULL STORY
For Broadway producers, Thanksgiving brought some extra trimmings this year. According to figures from the Broadway League, a dozen Broadway shows topped $1 million at the box office for the week ending Nov. 25 — the first time that’s happened all year. Perennial musical hits led the list: Wicked ($2.3 million), The Lion King ($2.1 million), The Book of Mormon ($1.8 million), and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark ($1.78 million). The fifth slot went to the just-opened revival Annie (pictured above), which took a stroll down Easy Street by selling $1.5 million in tickets, 105 percent of the show’s potential gross and a house record for the Palace Theatre. (Premium ticket charges spiked the average ticket price to $116, from $89 the week before.) READ FULL STORY
Break out the coffee! Actor Andrew Rannells is set to chat live with you tonight on viEWer at 9:30 p.m. Eastern/6:30 p.m. Pacific. He’ll be taking your questions and adding his running commentary to the latest episode of his NBC comedy, The New Normal. We know you’re going to have a lot to ask him, so Andrew will probably have to multitask as much as his New Normal alter ego, the harried TV producer Bryan, who decides to have a baby with his gynecologist partner David (Justin Bartha).
As any theater geek can tell you, last year Andrew shot to stardom with his role as fresh-faced, caffeine-averse Elder Price in Broadway’s The Book of Mormon. He’d previous played Bob Gaudio in the touring production of Jersey Boys and Link Larkin in the Broadway production of Hairspray. Along with a recurring gig on HBO’s Girls as the new roommate of Lena Dunham’s Hannah, The New Normal represents his live-action television debut. So get your questions ready for him and see you at 9:30 Eastern/6:30 Pacific!
More on The New Normal:
‘The New Normal’: Six things to know about NBC’s new comedy
‘The New Normal’ premiere review: Will you be spending more time with this family?
‘The New Normal’ sneak peek: 5 takeaways
In its second full week since opening, Broadway’s new screen-to-stage musical Bring It On had a modest 7 percent bump in ticket sales, to $508,000. That’s just 42 percent of the show’s potential gross in the St. James Theatre for the week ending Aug. 19, according to figures from the Broadway League. Despite generally favorable reviews for the loose adaptation of the 2000 teen cheerleading comedy, the new tuner has yet to really catch fire with theatergoers this summer. Though producers recently extended the show’s run until Jan. 20, 2013, the soft box office returns may spell trouble as we head into the fall months (when there are generally fewer tourists in New York City). As it is, Bring It On is relying on heavy discounting to fill its seats. Though the St. James was 77 percent full last week, the show had the cheapest average ticket price of any Broadway production: $61.89.
By way of comparison, you could get three Bring It On tickets for the price of a single seat at The Book of Mormon, the 2011 Tony-winning hit that again broke a house record last week with a $1.65 million gross. That’s 132 percent of the potential gross at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre, a feat that’s achievable because of premium ticket-pricing that elevated the average cost of a seat to a whopping $188.65. The irreverent musical also broke records at Denver’s Ellie Caulkins Opera House, where the show’s first national tour kicked off last week. (Co-creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker are Colorado natives.)
In addition to Mormon, six other shows topped $1 million in grosses last week: The Lion King ($1.96 million); Wicked ($1.8 million); Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark ($1.5 million); Evita ($1.04 million); Once ($1.03 million); and Newsies ($1.0 million). Overall, Broadway productions took in $20.86 million for the week, a modest 3.7 percent dip from the same week in 2011.
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“What is theatre? No, I’m just f—ing with you.” South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone couldn’t have chosen a better way to greet the masses of fans that packed the Broadway house at The Book of Mormon’s second annual Fan Day performance. The audience was comprised of more than a thousand Mormon enthusiasts who had previously lost the daily ticket lottery, but were lucky enough to land a coveted spot at the June 6 performance, which was created as an opportunity to give back to the show’s legions of followers.
“You can just tell the vibe, even walking in, how excited people are that they’re having this opportunity,” said star (and 2011 Tony Award winner) Nikki M. James backstage, where the audible buzz from the fans waiting beneath the marquee carried through the dressing rooms. “Everyone in that [theater] is celebrating how cool and fun this show is,” added co-star Rory O’Malley. “And it’s the closest that I’ll ever come to feeling like a rockstar.”
Although leading men Andrew Rannells and Josh Gad (who used Fan Day as his final performance before departing the production) received said rockstar welcomes when they entered the stage door, the Mormon fans waiting outside weren’t the rabid, wild bunch that you might expect—but you can probably chalk that up to exhaustion, as the line-up for the open-seating performance began as early as midnight. READ FULL STORY
As the theater world looks ahead to the Tony Awards on June 10, there’s one Broadway actress who’s still enjoying her status as a recent Tony winner. Nikki M. James won more than just hearts with her starring turn as Nabulungi in The Book of Mormon; the New Jersey native took home the Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Musical in 2011, a well-deserved win for the girl at the heart of Broadway’s most outrageous musical.
EW chatted with James–who’s currently in pre-production for a film adaptation of the off-Broadway musical Lucky Stiff–to find out more about Mormon life and her year with Tony.
Another day, another Andrew Lloyd Webber show on Broadway. EW got an exclusive look at the flashy revival of Jesus Christ Superstar, which officially opened on Thursday. The Book of Mormon announced a free-ticket lottery for its one year anniversary, which will no doubt make fans cheer “maha naibu eebowai.” Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) showed his business-casual side in EW’s first look at Roundabout Theatre Company’s upcoming Harvey. Mike Daisey’s The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs continued to make headlines, with the latest being Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company’s supportive stance behind the heavily-criticized show.
In reviews this week, writer Melissa Rose Bernardo gave the revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar a hearty B, praising the “glorious group of voices” assembled by director Des McAnuff. Bernardo also took in Cheek by Jowl’s “sexed-up, stripped-down” production of ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore. She graded it a B and had plenty to say about “the vomiting, the predatory sex acts and the grisly murders” that make the show unique. Writer Stephan Lee gave Off Broadway’s The Big Meal a B-, calling it “ingenious and often exhausting,” but lauding the show’s handling of humor throughout the melodrama.
For more stage news and reviews, check out EW.com’s Stage hub.
The Book of Mormon will celebrate its one-year anniversary on Saturday, and the nine-time Tony winner is still selling more than 100 percent of its seats. To celebrate the anniversary and thank the fans that have made it one of Broadway’s most successful productions in years, producers announced a special lottery in which winners will win tickets to attend a free matinee showing at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre on June 6.
“The show’s success has been awesome, but we know how hard it’s been for some people to get tickets,” said Mormon creator Trey Parker in a statement. “We can’t think of a better way to celebrate our one-year-anniversary.” READ FULL STORY
The Book of Mormon continues its clean-cut, white-shirted dominance of Broadway. Last night, the Tony-winning hit by Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Robert Lopez picked up a Grammy Award for best musical theater album (during the untelevised portion of the ceremony). Backstage, Parker said that he was gratified by the overwhelmingly positive response to the show — including by Mormons: “For some, it’s like their Fiddler on the Roof.”
And after topping the Broadway box office charts for the first time last week, Mormon slipped to second behind perennial powerhouse Wicked for the week ending Feb. 12. While Wicked raked in $1.509 million, Mormon broke yet another house record at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre with $1.485 million. That’s quite an achievement considering that the O’Neill seats only 1,066 people, far less than the theaters hosting such behemoth hits as Wicked (1,809 seats), Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark (1,930 seats), and The Lion King (1,677 seats).
Speaking of records, there was no box-office bump for Phantom of the Opera even as that Main Stem mainstay reached its record 10,000th performance on Saturday. Earnings dipped slightly to $638,467 for the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic that has grossed $875 million since its 1988 Broadway premiere.
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